Home > Features > Product Review: FastTrack Schedule 9.2

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New in Version 9.2

As were we getting close to wrapping up our review of version 9.1, AEC Software announced version 9.2 with several important enhancements. Chief among these was Windows Vista support (Vista Certification) and improvements to data exchange with Mindjet MindManager—something we haven't talked about yet.

MindManager integration was introduced in version 9.1 back in the fall of 2006. MindManager is a visual team thinking, planning and collaboration tool. The free add-on establishes a button within MindManager which, with a single click, launches FastTrack Schedule and populates the schedule with relevant data from MindManager. This is an innovative approach, as MindManager is a well-regarded conceptual thinking tool.

Other interesting smaller improvements in 9.2 include the ability to consolidate FastTrack Schedules files that utilize different Work Calendars (something 9.1 couldn't do). Another big-small change was PDF export on the Mac and the ability to drag and drop PNG files.

Learning FastTrack Schedule 9.x

Many other software companies could take a lesson from AEC Software when it comes to producing tutorials and manuals for their software. Their help system and PDF-based tutorials are visually uncluttered and welcoming, fostering a segue into new uncharted territory with the app. (see image 15).

15 - AEC Software's FastTrack Schedule Manual is a thing of beauty: clear, simple, elegant, sparse -- fosters learning.

Closing Comments

When we reviewed the last version we noted several weaknesses that AEC Software could work on, including better integration with calendar applications and web collaboration. In version 9.1 and 9.2 much has been delivered on this with .Mac publishing and iCal support and we look forward to where this integration may go given Apple's future plans with .Mac in particular.

However, we hope that AEC Software has begun to look at the future of FastTrack Schedule in the context of a Web 2.0 world. In today's fast-paced global economy a distributed workforce needs access to core information from remote locations far from the home office. The Internet is the logical route to this information, whether that information resides on company servers behind a firewall or is "out in the cloud" (ie: hosted on the Net).

It also isn't enough for colleagues and team members to be able to "view" FastTrack Schedules. They should be able to make changes, when on the road or just at home on a Sunday morning. The Consolidate Projects functionality introduced in 9 begins to pave the way towards a more distributed, granular model for schedule data.

Web 2.0 and SaaS (software as a service) bring some advantages that longtime desktop software firms like AEC Software need to look carefully at. Copper Project, a program we did a summary review a while back, featured Gantt chart functionality using data that lived out in the cloud. As the Web and Wi-Fi become more ubiquitous, the advantages of your data living in the cloud being available to teams anywhere, at anytime, on any device becomes truly compelling.

AEC Software is too good of a software company to not be thinking of this evolution of software development. We feel very confident that they will leverage Web 2.0 world going forward.


When it comes to today, working in a mixed Windows/Mac world—and getting more mixed—FastTrack Schedule 9.2 is in a class by itself. No other scheduling application combines Apple-like ease-of-use with such powerful and capable features, all in a ever-increasing beautiful interface.

Version 9.2 really shines in its numerous interface refinements, the ability to do more in the Resource view, the excellent decision to support .Mac and iCal files (.ics), and its very capable data exchange options with Microsoft Project. But the best feature in this newest version is the one that points towards the future: Project Consolidation.

The Project Consolidation model is actually related to the model idea behind BIM (building information modeling)—there is this central repository of information. What is highly desirous with this direction is the future ability to auto-publish from the project consolidation file out onto the web, while at the same time creating an AJAX-driven option to drive changes on subordinate files from anywhere over the Net.

In the meantime, while such a shiny future is being imagined and hoped for, there is no better project scheduling application available today for professionals working across platform. When it comes to scheduling software, FastTrack Schedule 9.2 is the cat that all the dogs are chasing. --- ANTHONY FRAUSTO-ROBLEDO, Editor-in-Chief.

For more information on FastTrack Schedule 9.2 go to:

Published: 16 July 2007


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